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History – 1940-1949: A Decade of Change

Historical photos of UHP cars, phones and speed signs

The Utah Highway Patrol has 51 sworn officers. The department purchases three, .45 caliber Thompson sub-machine guns.

The Utah Highway Patrol becomes a separate department under the direction of the Governor. The largest hiring to date raises the ranks of the UHP to 69 officers.

Three hundred fifty civilian volunteers are designated as “Deputy Highway Patrolman” for protection of government property at strategic locations during World War II. All sergeants are advanced to the rank of lieutenant. The rank of sergeant is eliminated until 1949. The Utah Highway Patrol activates its first dispatch station. A few select patrol cars can receive only. UHP patrol cars are painted many colors instead of the traditional uniform black.

The UHP begins enforcement of the “War Speed Limit” of 35 mph.

The Utah Highway Patrol establishes two-way communications with patrol cars in Salt Lake County only. The dark blue uniform shirts is dropped and a light blue uniform shirt is issued. Later dark blue epaulets will be added to this shirt.

The Utah Highway Patrol Civil Service Act of 1945, created the Utah Highway Patrol Civil Service Commission. All patrolmen were ordered to work 10 hours a day, six days a week. A few black and white patrol cars are implemented for better visibility in an attempt to reduce traffic accidents. Motorcycles are phased out.

The UHP adopts a new gold six-point badge with the seal of the Territory of Utah in the center.

The beehive becomes the official emblem of the UHP and is placed at UHP offices throughout the state. Beginning in 1950 the beehive is placed on the doors of patrol cars. A cocoa brown uniform shirt with cross draw holster and black tie is adopted. (The beehive has been placed on the uniform since 1938.) The UHP Civil Service Commission announces that effective October 1, 1947, all first class patrolmen will be designated as “Troopers.” Officers still in their first year of service will continue to be called Patrolmen.

The cross-draw holster is phased out and duty weapons are shortened to 4 inch barrels. The uniform tie is changed to match the uniform “pink” trousers.

Utah’s DUI law establishes a presumptive level of intoxication at .15 percent BAC. All new patrol cars are painted black and white. In addition cars are equipped with a rotating red light for greater visibility.